Google Play Store - Featured Articles

Google Play Movies & TV

Google Play Movies & TV picks up account switcher, new navigation drawer and improved timeline scrubbing

Design falls in line with other recent Google apps while adding a few new features Wednesdays are turning in to "Google app update" days, and the second one of today (behind Keep) is Google Play Movies & TV. The update is making the same interface changes here as we have seen on other recent...
Google Play Activity page

See all of your ratings and +1s in Google Play on the web

A new menu item is showing up for some users in the Play Store on the web, giving you a look at all of your +1 and comment activity in the store. This reflects a change that was added to the Play Store on Android back in December, letting you have a broad look at all of your Play Store engagement...
Nexus 5 camera

Android camera app reportedly getting portrait and effects improvements through Play Store

To be updated independently of Android, gaining custom filter support The Android camera app will soon be split off into the Google Play Store and is looking to get an update with a refreshed UI and new effects. Manufacturers have put a lot of effort into expanding the capabilities of their...

Google Play Store - Top Articles

Nexus 5 camera

Android camera app reportedly getting portrait and effects improvements through Play Store

To be updated independently of Android, gaining custom filter support The Android camera app will soon be split off into the Google Play Store and is looking to get an update with a refreshed UI and new effects. Manufacturers have put a lot of effort into expanding the capabilities of their...
Google Play

UK closes tax loophole on digital downloads, Google Play prices likely to increase

New rules see standard VAT of 20% to be paid from January 1 2015 Buried within the recent Budget, it seems that UK Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that digital content downloads will pay tax based on the country they are sold in. In other words all content from Google Play, Amazon,...
Google fixes Heartbleed

Google updates back-end in light of Heartbleed vulnerability

If you've been online at some point in the last 36 hours, chances are you've heard of 'Heartbleed', a flaw in OpenSSL that has exposed data to theft on approximately 2/3 of servers in use around the globe over the past two years. It's not known how bad the damage may be, but the revelation of the...
Android Central

Hangouts 2.0 now rolling out with SMS support

New version lets you use Google's IM app to send and receive texts As promised at last week's Google+ event, the new version of Hangouts capable of sending and receiving text messages is now rolling out through Google Play. The update to brings things up to speed with the version of Hangouts on...
Sense 6 apps

HTC Sense 6 apps hit Google Play ahead of new HTC One launch

BlinkFeed, HTC Service Pack and SenseTV listed on Google Play, complete with screenshots We're just hours away from the expected arrival of the new HTC One (M8), and we're starting to see signs of the final preparations being made for the phone's launch. HTC has this morning released three new...
Google Play Store 4.6.16

Google Play Store 4.6.16 now rolling out with new password options, batch app installing

A few interface and wording changes make the app a little more friendly A new version of the Google Play Store is rolling out to a wide number of people this week, bringing with it a few new options in the settings and some visual tweaks that make the whole app run a bit smoother. Nothing will...
Yeezus

Kanye West's 'Yeezus' leads Google's holiday deals

As is prone to happen this time of year, Google's got a bunch of holiday deals in order on Google Play. The savings spans across just about every category, from Kanye West's "Yeezus" album free for a limited time. The Star Wars: Tiny Death Star game has an exclusive  Google Play bundle available,...
Galaxy Note 3

Samsung offering U.S. Galaxy Note 3 owners $50 Google Play credit

If you've got a U.S. Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung's running a promotion until Jan. 6 that'll allow you to claim $50 of free Google Play credit. Simply hit up the promotion site, enter your details — including phone number, address, email and IMEI — and you'll be able to score $50 credit to use...
Play Store Mother's day sale

Get a head start on Mother's Day shopping with Play Store sale

Even though it's not for another month, Google is holding a Mother's Day sale on the Google Play Store, offering major discounts on certain books, as well as magazine subscriptions. Books are available for 50% off, including I Remember Nothing, Lean In, and The Goldfinch. Customers can also...
Google Play Movies

Google Play Movies comes to dozens of new countries, Play Music expands to 4 more

63 countries now have Google Play Movies, with 25 now having Play Music as well Well it turns out Google has been busy signing deals to expand Google Play Movies, as the content choice has just expanded to 38 new countries around the world today. And the new countries truly are around the entire...

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White color variant launches on Google Play and T-Mobile U.S.

After launching in Hong Kong earlier this week, the white LG Nexus 4 has made its Western debut today in the United States. The phone is available right now from the Google Play Store, priced $299 for 8GB and $349 for 16GB, same as the standard black version. The white Google Play version comes with a free white bumper, not currently for sale by itself.

T-Mobile U.S. is also stocking the 16GB white Nexus for $427.99 on its online store, with no monthly installment plan option. That's a good deal more expensive than the Play Store price, so the direct Google route will remain the best option for most folks.

So far we're not seeing any sign of the white Nexus 4 in the UK or Canada -- or anywhere else for that matter -- but we'll keep watching in the hours and days ahead.

U.S. people, here are your links --

More: Hands-on with the white Nexus 4

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Full complement of Sky Android apps available once again after recent hack by Syrian Electronic Army

A quick heads-up for Sky subscribers in the UK -- the satellite broadcaster's range of Android apps has returned to the Play Store today following its Google Play account being hacked. The hack occurred over the weekend and was attributed to the Syrian Electronic Army, whose banners appeared on the apps' Play Store listings.

In the wake of the attack, Sky's apps were pulled from Google's app store, however the broadcaster has insisted that the apps themselves were not changed. As of this morning the full suite of Sky apps is once again available, including Sky News, Sky Sports, Sky+ and Sky Go. Sky subscribers can click here to view a full list of apps.

Source: Sky Help Team

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Google to stop accepting payments for Argentine developers from June 27, apps to be pulled from July 27.

Android developers based in Argentina have received notice from Google that it'll no longer be able to accept payments for them from June 27. A letter from Google to devs, obtained by South American phone site Celularis, indicates that the changes apply to both paid apps and in-app purchases. The Verge points out that the change is likely due to tough new restrictions on currency exchanges recently imposed by the Argentine government. But Celularis notes that despite the changes to Google Play, Google AdSense for mobile continues to operate in the country.

The letter from Google states that it'll stop accepting payments on behalf of Argentine developers from June 27. Paid apps and in-app items from these devs will be pulled a month later, starting July 27, following final payments on July 22. One solution for Argentina-based app developers is to move their account to another country where they're able to legally do business, an option Google itself suggests in its email to developers.

Google states that it hopes to restore payouts to developers based in Argentina in the future, but that "no specific plans are in place at the moment."

Source: Celularis; via: The Verge

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The rumors are true — HTC and Google will collaborate on a 'Nexus user experience' version of the HTC One

Ever since the Samsung Galaxy S4 “Google Edition” announcement at Google I/O last week, rumors have been circulating that HTC might follow suit with a vanilla version of its own flagship device. Recently, Russell Holly of Geek.com and Paul O’Brien of MoDaCo have chimed in with reports that such a device is on the way. Today we can confirm through our own sources that despite official denials, the “Google Edition” HTC One is indeed real, and will be announced in the next week or so.

Let's take a look at what we know, and what it could mean.

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New 'Holo light' UI brings Magazines in line with latest Play Music and Play Store apps

Google has updated the Play Magazines app for Android to verison 2.0, bringing a new, lighter user interface. The new version of the app draws inspiration from the recent updates to Google Play Music and the Play Store, both of which have received UI updates in the past month or so. Everything's generally a lot lighter and brighter, and there's a new slide-out sidebar allowing you to switch between Read Now, Library and Shopping views. The official changelog also lists bug fixes in this new version of Play Magazines.

If you're already using Play Magazines, hit "My Apps" in the Play Store app to update. Alternatively we've got a Google Play web link up above.

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Android tablets are growing in popularity, and Google recognizes this and is setting out to make great tablet apps more visible in the Play Store. Starting today, there will be a new "designed for tablets" section in each of the top charts tabs in the Play Store when accessed from an Android tablet. Great news for Android tablet users and developers of great tablet apps alike. 

Follow our live coverage of the Google I/O keynote for the rest of the day's news!

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Hugo Barra just took to the stage in San Francisco at Google I/O 2013, and the first thing he talked about was some extremely impressive statistics for Google Play. 

Google Play has now seen an astonishing total of 48 billion app installs, with 2.5 billion installs in just the last month alone.  Better yet for developers, revenue per user is up 2.5 percent in the last year, so things are looking good for developers distributing their apps through Google Play. 

Follow our live coverage of the Google I/O Keynote for the rest of the days news, as it happens!

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Direct links to the Play Store make music buying easier

TuneIn Radio has just released an update to its streaming radio service that lets users quickly find and purchase the music they're listening to in Google Play. The app has simply added a Google Play icon to the action bar between the share and search buttons, and tapping it brings you to a pre-populated search page in Google Play where you can purchase the track being played. Presumably the button doesn't show up when it can't find a match for the music (it doensn't show up on talk radio, for example), but in our few tests it always returned results.

The update is available for both free and paid versions of TuneIn, and is certainly one to update right away if you find yourself trying to remember and search for music to buy later. You can grab the free version from the Play Store link at the top of this post, and the $4.99 paid version right here as well.

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The early pilot program expands to let all developers respond to issues directly and i​n public

Google is working to make the Play Store reviews system a little more constructive today by expanding the ability to respond to reviews to any developer, rather than just a small testing group. Developers can now respond to complaints, bug reports and general feedback from their Google Play Developer Console, which will show up publicly as a direct threaded response to the original review. When a comment is made, the original reviewer receives an email notification of it and can respond in-line again directly from that email or from the Play Store again as well.

Just as before, the original reviewer and developer can both edit their reviews and comments at any time, which is important to be able to do if the issues causing a bad review have been fixed. Together with the movement to using Google+ profiles to tie a real name (presumably) and picture to reviews to help cut down on spam, the Google Play reviews system is making big steps forward.

Source: Android Developers Blog; Via: TNW

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I’m a huge music fan and I tend to enjoy all genres. If you’re not fond of much of the music today that is too often full of auto-tune and artificial sound, I have a recommendation for you. The Head and the Heart is a band that originated in Seattle and boasts many different styles, specifically folk, rock and Americana. I discovered them a few years back after they released their self titled debut album and I was fascinated by the lyrics and melody put forth by the three lead singers. From their songs and several YouTube videos that I checked out, I was immediately struck by their passion for authentic music and sound. They are a talented band and deserve a lot more attention in the age of auto tune. Their first album can be bought for $9.49 from Google Play.

The Head and the Heart - "The Head and the Heart" from Google Play

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Barnes and Noble team up with Google, will significantly increase the availability of apps for both Nook HD tablets

While the Barnes & Noble Nook HD and Nook HD+ each have access to the B&N online stores for books and apps, tonight CEO William Lynch has announced that with an update due to start rolling out today, the Google Play store will be added to the 7-inch and 9-inch tablets.

We saw coming off holiday the market moved to multifunction tablets. Consumer research showed us the breadth of applications available is really critical.

The update will be a standard automatic over-the-air affair, and will include plenty of other Google services as well. Confirmed are Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and Google Play Music. 

The tablets are moderately spec'd by today's standards, but are also moderately priced at $199 for the 7-inch Nook HD and $269 for the 9-inch Nook HD+. We're not sure that the addition of Google's apps and services will generate new sales, but they should be welcome additions for everyone who purchased one last year.

If you're using a Nook HD, be sure to share your experiences with everyone once you get the update!

Via: Huffington Post

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Facebook had been confusing users with unsolicited 'beta' updates outside the app store

Google recently changed its Google Play Developer Program Policies to prevent applications from using Google's app store and then going off the reservation for updates. 

The change likely is in direct response to Facebook doing that very thing under the guise of a "beta" program. While there might be any malicious intent there, it is a bit specious, and confusing to consumers.

The new policy language reads thusly:

An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism.

That should still leave room for applications that are distributed through Google Play to simultaneously have beta tracks outside of Google's app store, so long as those trains stay on their proper tracks. 

Source: Google Play Developer Content Policy; via The Verge

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Google proactively scanning apps uploaded to Google Play for tablet compatibility, provides feedback to developers in real-time

Google has added a new tablet optimization tips page to the developer console in order to provide feedback about apps and how they fare against the Tablet App Quality Checklist. When developers upload their apps, the Developer Console now runs a "series of checks to verify basic criteria" against the list, and displays the results in a new page. Android was built with application scalability in mind, meaning there is no need to build multiple apps designed for different device types, and instead use tools and assets designed for each under the umbrella of one app. It sounds great on paper, and works great when developers take the time to build out apps with this in mind.

Taking time is the key part. It's not easy to build mobile apps, especially ones that look good and take advantage of each device screen size and dimensions. Starting today, Google can help a little more by analyzing an app when it's uploaded, then placing some tips how it can be done "better" for tablets in the new optimization tips page.  

While this is one of those things most of us will never see, having it in place means better apps -- something we can all get behind.

Source: Google

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Iron Man 3 flies his way to Android, grab it for free from Google Play

Gameloft has published Iron Man 3 to Google Play this morning, bringing the Marvel hero to life on your Android phone or tablet. Fly your way through this endless runner meets on-rails shooter, fighting against A.I.M. forces in Malibu Shores, New York city, and China. You can even fight some of your favorite bad guys from Iron Man comics, with boss battles against the likes of Crimson Dynamo, Ezekiel Stane, Living Laser and the mighty M.O.D.O.K. All while trying to manage Stark Industries and develop 18 new suits and keep your armor and super powers updated.

At 768MB it's a fairly big install, but the graphics and sound are pretty awesome. And of course, there are in-app purchases at every turn, but hopefully the game can be played without nickel-and-diming its way through your wallet. We'll be taking a good long look at this one, but in the meantime you can check out Simon's hands-on from GDC after the break. The game requires Android 2.3 or higher, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above.

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Sometimes a big number is just... a big number

The new "love it or hate it" app out there, Facebook Home, has surpassed a pretty notable milestone in the Play Store today: 500,000 installs. That's half a million installs of an app that many said would appeal to a very small section of people -- those who are presumably "all in" with Facebook. But what does that 500,000 number even mean? Not that much, actually. Any time that someone clicks "install" on the Google Play store, it counts as an install. It doesn't matter if the user never actually launches the app, whether they set it as a default launcher or even whether it stays installed on their phone for more than 10 minutes.

It's kind of like a hamburger restaurant saying "10 million customers served". Well, sure they were served, but did they actually enjoy the food? Lots of users may be taking one bite out of Facebook Home and throwing it in the trash, and the Google Play numbers simply don't reflect that.

The real number we'd love to take a look at is active installs. How many people have installed Facebook Home, then continued to use it. Given the current ratings it is receiving in the play store -- an average of 2.2 out of 5 -- we have to guess that number is well below 500,000. And without that "active installs" number, we don't believe there's any comment to be made about the success of Home this early in the game.

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Tablet screenshots will now show in Play Store listings for users browsing on that device

The official Android Developers Blog has just put up a post explaining to app developers guidelines for uploading and displaying screenshots of their apps running on tablets. Developers can now specify the difference between screenshots being uploaded for phones, 7-inch and 10-inch tablets, so that when users view the Play Store listing from each of the devices they will see views of the app relevant to that device. With Google's continued focus on tablet design and making apps look great on larger screens, it's important to show users what they're getting while browsing the Play Store.

If you're a developer and have tablet-optimized apps, check in your Google Play Developer Console for instructions on how to manage your screenshots. The rest of us will see the benefit of this initiative as more apps are properly designed for tablets.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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Win a Nexus 4, 7, 10, or $10 in Play Store bucks

If you like free stuff, Google has some great news: it is giving away ten Nexus 10 tablets, seven Nexus 7 tablets, and (you guessed it) four Nexus 4 phones, as well as 100 gift cards worth $10 a pop in the Google Play Favorite Things Sweepstakes. Only U.S. residents 18 and older need apply, and a Twitter account is required to enter.

First, you'll need to follow @Google Play. Next, pick something you're fond of in the Play Store -- it can be any movie, music, book, app, game, magazine, or TV show. Tweet a link of the item with #favoritethings. The example given by Google is "My favorite movie on @GooglePlay is Toy Story https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/Toy_Story?id=c3986gGp3Qs #favoritethings." Finally, complete the official entry form.

Entrants have until 11:59PM PT on April 24, 2013 to complete the above. For a complete list of official rules, follow the link below. Google luck!

Source: Entry PageOfficial Rules

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Google's content portal gets a lighter, brighter visual refresh

Following some recent leakage, it seems the new look Google Play Store app is finally official. Google has just announced that the new-look Play Store app will begin rolling out to Android devices today.

In today's announcement post on the official Android blog, Google says the new-look app is aimed to be "simple" and "clean," with a renewed focus on entertainment content. Based on the official promo images, that certainly seems to be the case -- Google Now-like greys and whites dominate the UI, while a lot of screen space is given to large images for music, movie and book content.

The purchasing process has also been streamlined, Google says, which hopefully means fewer taps to buy apps and other content through this new version of the store.

The new Google Play Store will begin pushing automatically to devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and above starting today, so keep a lookout in the hours ahead. In the meantime, hit the comments if you've managed to get it already.

Source: Official Android blog

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A visual refresh could be coming soon to Google's content portal

The last time the Google Play Store app got a major redesign, it was still called the Android Market. So we're about due a visual refresh, and it looks like a new version could be headed our way sooner rather than later.

YouTube's Eileen Rivera posted the screenshot above on Google+, showing a lighter, more colorful design with more prominence given to the main store areas, and larger app icons below. "Games" also gets its own entry, whereas before it was found under "Apps."

Right now it looks like Google's just "dogfooding" this new version of the Play Store among its employees -- check out the little dog bowl icon on the top left -- but if Googlers are posting pictures of the new app publicly, chances are we won't have too long to wait for the public roll-out.

Source: +Eileen Rivera

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"What's this song?" working in Google Now as well

Google's Sound Search, which lets users identify music tracks and artists by letting their phone listen to them, is branching out from the U.S. to include users in the U.K. In addition to the stand-alone app and widget for Sound Search, the same functionality also seems to be working within Google Now for U.K. users. Saying "What's this song?" then letting it listen will field results.

While the app's changelog hasn't been updated to reflect it, there has been an update in the Play Store and our own Alex Dobie in the U.K. is confirming that it does work now. Head to the Play Store link above to grab your download and test it out, and let us know in the comments if it's working in any other new countries.

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